Turing Data Study Group Report

In May this year, the NBN Trust was delighted to be part of a Data Study Group with the Alan Turing Institute.

The Data Study Group carried out a spatiotemporal analysis of priority species records across England, working with a dataset extracted from the NBN Atlas comprising all records of the 943 species of principal importance in England from 1970 to 2020. These priority species were identified as being the most threatened and requiring conservation action under the UK Biodiversity Action Plan, and are used in nature conservation to support policy, decision making and nature recovery. However, the dataset included 911 species only, as not all the 943 species of principal importance have been recorded on the NBN Atlas in the time period. This dataset included 10,202,929 records.

Objective of the Study

The overall objective of this Data Study Group (DSG) was to develop tools to understand the  comprehensiveness of the NBN Atlas as a biodiversity inventory, and to highlight the value and impact of sharing biodiversity data using a subset of the records available online. The DSG focused on developing creative ideas for tables, plots, maps and visualisations to represent the extent of the species of principal importance in England on the NBN Atlas.

This is the first time we have been involved in such research and this particular study was made possible with the support of Natural England, to whom we give our thanks. It was a wonderful opportunity and incredibly rewarding to be in the same room, at the British Library, with some brilliant young academics and researchers, applying the latest data science techniques to analyse threatened species data and highlight data gaps.  Universities and research organisations from across the UK and beyond were represented in the group.

Thanks to this study, and when we are fully resourced, we are excited to be able to return to the findings of the report so that it can help guide the NBN community to further improve the comprehensiveness, and associated value, of the NBN Atlas.

You can read more information and download the full report on the Turing institute website.

Come to the NBN Conference to hear more

You can hear more about the Data Study Group at the NBN Conference where Simon Rolph, Data Scientist from UK Centre for Ecology & Hydrology will be giving a talk on “Assessing NBN Atlas comprehensiveness and the impact of data providers: Insights from a Data Study Group”

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